Monday, April 25, 2011

"V" is for VS

Writing a book - Agent VS epub
(usually on Fridays I collect my thoughts and spout what I've been working on in my efforts to be published, schedule is off with this challenge.) Lately I've been researching and this is a hot topic! Here's what I have concluded (and correct or add as you see fit, I'm no expert!):

Agent pros
  • they work for you - if you don't make money, they don't make money. They want you to succeed!
  • they are experienced - they know the business, have connections, know what steps to take
  • they can help - with editing, covers, publicity, advice, etc
Agent cons
  • super selective, more so these days
  • production is slow process (compared to epub)
  • authors have to do more editing and promotion than some might think
epub pros
  • it seems easier, but I've heard mixed things, depends on what service you use
  • quicker output
epub cons
  • you're on your own
  • or you can pay for expertise
  • total self-promotion and editing
The bookstore I frequent is closing - what does that mean to me? I'm in the process of querying and wonder, "Am I wasting my time? Should I just epub myself?" But I don't want to do it myself. I want help and experience and connections from a great agent! Maybe when I get to the point of being sick of querying and can't get an agent, then I'll try to epub.

I want some opinions! Would you consider it? What do you think? I know several of you that have put your books out there yourselves - how did you do it? how is it going? why did you do it?


Laura Josephsen said...

I don't have an agent, but I was picked up several years ago by a small publishing company. The two founders of the company are extremely reputable and have been around in the publishing industry for years and years, and they decided to start their own company. They are not a self-publishing or vanity company. Their books are released in POD paperback and in ebook. I have had a wonderful experience with them, and for me, it has been the perfect fit for the books that are published/under contract with them. They put together the cover, format the book, put it through their editing process, distribute the book through their connections, and other things.

I still have to do a lot of marketing, and I am slowly learning my way around that. So, trying to find a small, reputable publishing house in another option, since they don't always require agents to submit. (Though one of my fellow authors at the company did come to them through her agent.)

Every person's choice on how they want to proceed with publishing is so personal and there isn't a "right" or "wrong" for everyone. I know one of my friends who has been published through a small house and a big house, and now he's switching to self-publishing. (If you're interested in his perspective, I have a link to his thoughts that I can dig up for you.) Publishing is a business--a very subjective, fluctuating business. Everyone has goals for their book, and if your goal is to get an agent, then go for it! Sometimes you just have to dive in and see where the publishing road takes you.

Alexis Bass said...

I see a lot of pros to epublishing, but I still hope to do it the good old fashion way via agent. :)

(oh, and I agree with much of what @laura said - very well put!)

Bluestocking Mum said...

I'd like to give finding an agent a good shot first. It's only my own opinion, and maybe it's about approval, but it won't feel quite the same, doing it myself. However I know several friends who it's working well for. Perhaps I'll do it further down the line.

By the way, I've awarded you the Stylish Blogger award over at my blog if you'd like to collect it some time. Here's the link to the post.

Well deserved. And it's been good to meet you.

warm wishes

V.R. Leavitt said...

I agree with what everybody has said here. I think publishing is going to be more and more like the music industry. There will always be publishing houses, just like there are still record labels, but more and more people will go independent to maintain their own artistic vision and the rights to their work.

I'm going to start querying and see where it takes me. Like you guys, I'd love the help of a great agent, but if it ends up that I'm not a good fit with them, then I'll just do it on my own.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I think self publishing is great if I had the money to get a professional editor first.
I don't care which avenue I start with just as long as I get to start!

Heather Henry said...

I have a friend who has gone to self publishing because he became fed up with the publishers. Too many hoops to jump through. So far, I think he's been fairly successful with it. He is single though and has time to go to book shows and promote himself, which I am sure makes a bit of a difference and he's an illustrator. I think it's trickier to get published as an illustrator.
I think if you can find an agent, that sounds like a good way to go. Otherwise, there are places like LuLu.
Sorry, I didn't participate in the tag u r it, I wanted to, but my internet is not always very cooperative.
Hope you've had a great day!

Tara Tyler said...

Wow! Look at all this great advice!
Thanks for all the input.

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